For this week, I have three blog ideas, one of them being cybersecurity, as I noticed my Facebook and Instagram accounts were being broken into. Cybersecurity in the words of IT GOVERNANCE is ‘the application of technologies, processes and controls to protect systems, networks, programs, devices and data from cyber attacks. It aims to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect against the unauthorized exploitation of systems, networks and technologies’’.
Inside your Facebook account(the web address hasn’t changed) you can find several ways to cyber protect your account. Click on the arrow down next to the Notifications bell, go to Settings and Privacy – Settings – Security and Login. This is where you will see all the unauthorized logins to your account, in the ‘’Where You’re Logged In’’ section. This is where I saw logins from different Romanian counties on my account. One cannot be in multiple locations at once, digitally and physically, so I knew I had a big problem with cybersecurity. One enabled option doesn’t cover you.
I was already using a password manager called LAST PASS, which also generates strong passwords, and you can customize them to contain numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase; I already had two factor authentication enabled but it clearly wasn’t enough. Once somebody hacked your account, they can see your backup codes for your account in Instagram, I know because I tried using several backup codes and didn’t work which means they were already used.
I could tell somebody was spying my accounts because my messages were opening up seemingly at random, when I knew I closed these conversation windows, also my Instagram theme changed from dark to light without me changing it. I had alerts enabled for unrecognized logins as well in my Facebook account but these were never received.
What you can do instead is enabling the Authentication app which is readily available as an option in the ‘’Two factor authentication’’ section. Google Authenticator app is easy to install from the Android Play Store or Apple Play Store and easy to use. As a result, I get random codes sent to me as early as 6am but I sleep well knowing they can’t access my account.
Another tip I have to give is using these strong passwords and changing them often. Strong passwords aren’t strong on their own, but use them anyway. ‘’S3Dg6&E4e4yd’’ is still better than ‘’hotcookie2’’ – which I never used for any account, just made it up for this blog, if you have it as a password do be ‘ashamed’ of yourself, and go change it. Make sure each password is different on each platform.
Your accounts could also be broken into as a result of ‘’phishing’’, which is when the attacker masks themselves as a website or institution you trust to do something like clicking on an instant message, email or fake social media page, online banking. ‘’The FBI has noted about a surge in pandemic-related phishing, tied to the growth of remote work’’(IBM, 2021). My old Myspace account was phished using a fake social media page which looked as normal and I’d have to unlock my account, change the password and it would happen again till I changed the email.
I did notice the difference between the safe and normal Facebook login page and the fake one(the colors are different and the design), where the fake page looked like a mobile version. I apologize for not screenshotting it to use here as an example but be super attentive of these changes in web pages. Hope you found my story useful and stay safe on social media!
Anon., n.d., What is cybersecurity? IBM. Viewed [11/9/2021]. Available from: https://www.ibm.com/topics/cybersecurity
Anon., n.d., What is cybersecurity? Definition and best practices. IT Governance UK. Viewed [11/9/2021]. Available from: https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/what-is-cybersecurity